Former Pitt punter Ryan Winslow signed with the Arizona Cardinals late last week, sparking a competition for the starting punter role between him and 16-year veteran and fellow Pitt alum Andy Lee. The signing also marks the formation of a Pitt enclave of sorts in Phoenix, as the Cardinals now have four former Panthers on their roster. The other two are linebacker James Folston Jr. and, of course, wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald.
Yes sir !! Excited for this opportunity https://t.co/JmBaqAh4Us— Ryan Winslow (@ryanwinsbro) May 2, 2019
Winslow is coming off a stint in the Alliance of American Football, where he played for the San Diego Fleet and the Memphis Express. During the 2019 season, Winslow led the AAF in yards per punt, with 47.8. Prior to that, Winslow competed for a job with the Chicago Bears but was cut during training camp in 2018.
At Pitt, Winslow redshirted in 2013 but won the starting punter job in 2014 and held onto it until 2017. In his final college season, he averaged 44.5 yards per punt, which led the ACC, and put 16 punts inside the 20-yard line. As a result, Winslow was named to the All-ACC first team.
Opposite Winslow in the battle for the Cardinals punter job is Lee, who played at Pitt from 2000 to 2003. During his time in Pittsburgh, Lee set records for career punts, with 244 punts; punts in a season, with 77 punts; and single-season punt yardage, with 3,399 yards. Each record still stands today.
Last season, Lee averaged 48.6 yards per punt and pinned opponents inside the 20-yard line 15 times in 44 punts. He has been entrenched as the Cardinals’ starting punter since 2017, having previously played for the San Francisco 49ers, Cleveland Browns and Carolina Panthers. He is under contract through 2020.